Leipsic 81, Hardin Northern 39
LEIPSIC — Leipsic’s Jaden Siefker scored 24 points and Mason Brandt added 19 points. For Hardin Northern, Luke Wilson scored 10 points.
Leipsic improves to 11-1 and Hardin Northern drops to 6-5.
Upper Scioto Valley 39, Lehman Catholic 37
SIDNEY — Upper Scioto Valley’s Jackson Rohr scored 16 points and Connor Sanders produced a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
USV improves to 6-5 overall and 3-2 in the Northwest Central Conference. Lehman falls to 9-2 for the season and 3-1 in the NWCC.
Both the Wapakoneta boys basketball game on Saturday vs. St. Henry and the girls basketball game at Hilliard Bradley have been postponed Saturday. No reschedule dates have been set as of yet.
In a statement, Wapakoneta athletic director Brad Rex said the reason for the postponements are, “Our students and community will be honoring the life of a lost classmate on Saturday. We appreciate your thoughts and understanding.”
In addition, the girls game against Coldwater Feb. 2 has also been canceled.
ONU looks to build on last year’s success.
ADA — The Polar Bears enter the 2020-21 season coming off of their best ever finish at the NCAA Regional Tournament.
The Polar Bear wrestling team will return seven of ten starters, six of eight regional placers, and two of three national qualifiers from last year’s team that finished 14-8 in dual meets, fifth in the OAC with a 3-4 mark, and fourth out of 18 teams at the NCAA Central Regional.
With returning talent coupled with some promising incoming freshmen, the Polar Bears will look to improve on last year’s strong regional tournament finish. It is easy to see why optimism abounds through the halls of the ONU Sports Center this year.
It will be difficult to pry this weight away from one of the Polar Bears’ returning national qualifiers, sophomore Chase Sumner (Ada), after his breakout freshman season. Chase controlled the 149-pound weight class all year, but that will not stop a duo of fellow sophomores and an incoming freshman from fighting to unseat him. Last year’s backup Connar Davis (Lebanon) will look to elevate his position this season and Bailey Gibson (Elida), who sat behind Jeff Andrews at 141 pounds a year ago, will fight it out to see who this year’s starter will be. Two time D3 OHSAA state qualifier Matthew Dewitz (Oak Harbor) will look to stir things up at 149, this should be a good one to watch.
Easily the deepest weight class for the Polar Bears, senior and 2020 NCAA Regional placer Schuyler Caprella (Harrod/Allen East) and iunior 2019 NCAA Regional placer Shaun Wagner (Southington, Conn.) split time here before Schuyler took control in the end last season. These two will be back at this weight again to fight it out but will have a bevy of serious challengers. Senior Rhett Roeder (Monroeville) has been a key reserve wrestler for the Bears at 149 and 157 over the last three years and will look to break into the starting lineup for his senior season. Sophomore Alex Kowal (Cincinnati/Bishop Fenwick) returns after a two-year hiatus will look to regain his form after the two year layoff and try to mix things up and find a spot in the lineup. The final challenger here is Antonio Gonzalez (Dublin/Coffman), a sophomore who showed some real promise for the Polar Bears at 149 pounds before an injury sidelined him in his freshman campaign. Antonio is one to keep an eye on and not overlook as he develops his collegiate skills after the injury shortening season his freshman campaign.
Returning two-year letterman and 2020 NCAA Regional placer junior Connor Kwiat (Bloomville/Tiffin Calvert) returns looking to hold down the 174 spot and, like Hardrick at 165, will have his eyes on the postseason and a potential NCAA National Championship berth. The first of two major challengers for Kwiat this year is junior Dylan Knotts (Russells Point/Indian Lake), who comes to ONU after the closing of Urbana University where he was a two-year starter for the Blue Knights at 174 pounds and earned a fifth place finish at the 2020 MEC Championships. Knotts will look to take the starting spot from Kwiat along with sophomore A.J. Szigeti (Oregon/Clay). Szigeti comes up this season from 165 pounds where he backed up Hardrick and had some starting reps when Jordan had an injury in the early part of the 2019-20 season.